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Victory takes Humpy closer to quarterfinals

ELISTA, MAY 26. Koneru Humpy displayed some superb defensive skills to foil the aggressive designs of Russia's Tatiana Kosintseva. Victory in the day's longest battle helped Humpy inch closer to the quarterfinals of the Women's World chess championship here on Wednesday.

Third seed and former champion Maia Chiburdanidze had no difficulty in dismissing the challenge of Czech girl Jana Jackova, the lowest ranked player in the pre-quarterfinals.

The day's only winner with white pieces was Russia's Ekaterina Kovalevskaya who overpowered fifth seed 14-year-old Ukrainian Kateryna Lahno in the first game of their two-match battle for a place in the last-eight stage.

Humpy gained a pawn on the 17th move of her Modern Defence game but came under pressure after Tatiana managed to establish a queenside passed pawn. Tatiana, however, could not make any headway while Humpy clawed her way back. Once Humpy removed Tatiana's advanced pawn, she looked firmly on course of an important victory. Though Tatiana played on in search of a possible draw but Humpy's two-pawn advantage proved decisive in this 61-move battle. On Thursday, Humpy plays white and needs only a draw to enter the quarterfinals.

The results (prefix denotes seeding):

Pre-quarterfinals (Game one): 16-Tatiana Kosintseva (Rus) lost to 1-Koneru Humpy (Ind); 31-Maia Lomineishvili (Geo) lost to 15-Nana Dzagnidze (Geo); 51-Jana Jackova (Cze) lost to 3-Maia Chiburdanidze (Geo); 29-Natasa Bojkovic (Scg) lost to 20-Ketino Kachiani-G (Ger); 12-Ekaterina Kovalevskaya (Rus) bt 5-Kateryna Lahno (Ukr); 6-Pia Cramling (Swe) drew with 22-Viktorja Cmilyte (Ltu); 10-Natalia Zhukova (Ukr) drew with 7-Antoaneta Stefanova (Bul); 40-Elisabeth Paehtz (Ger) drew with 9-Xu Yuhua (Chn).

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